Autism Live and We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym have partnered again this holiday season to host a special event for children with autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Children who attend the Autism Live Sensitive Santaevent will meet Santa, have their photos taken, and receive a wrapped toy, while also getting the opportunity to explore a uniquely ASD-friendly gym equipment. Autism Live’s Sensitive Santa will be held Saturday, December 2 from 9am-3:30pm at We Rock the Spectrum Kid’s Gym, located at 5520 Crebs Ave., Tarzana, CA 91356. The event is free with registration at https://autismsensitivesanta2017.eventbrite.com.
Spending time with Santa can be difficult for children with ASD and their families, and this event seeks to give families an opportunity to have fun in an environment specifically designed to meet the needs of their children.
“The holidays are often especially challenging for children affected by autism and their families, and we wanted to create an event that makes the visit with Santa and his helpers a fun-filled, stress-free occasion,” said Shannon Penrod, host of Autism Live, one of the event sponsors.At Autism Live’s Sensitive Santa event, Santa and his helpers have experience interacting with children with ASD and know behavioral techniques to help children enjoy their visit. Instead of waiting in line, the children play in the sensory gym, which facilitates a successful Santa visit for the whole family.
“This is one of our favorite days of the year,” says We Rock the Spectrum Founder and CEO Dina Kimmel. “The kids light up the second they see Santa. The parents feel comfort knowing their children are in a safe and accepting environment. We are so proud to host something so magical with our friends at Autism Live.”
The high-quality toys each attendee will receive arefeatured inAutism Live’s Top Toy & Gift Guide 2017. The award-winning toys featured in the guide were chosen because they are fun and help build important skills. Toys featured in the guide and at Autism Live’s Sensitive Santa event come from toymakers such as Think Fun, Endless Games, Imperial Toys, Fisher-Price, Lux Blox, Yoee Baby, Play Visions, Infantino, Smart Felt Toys, Zuru, Uncle Milton, and Fat Brain Toys.
“The reality is that many children on the autism spectrum don’t know how to play, so they don’t enjoy playing,” said Penrod. “A great toy and the right level of guidance can help a child grow and have fun!”
Autism Care and Treatment Today! and My Brother Rocks the Spectrum Foundation were involved in creating the event, along with support from the Center for Autism and Related Disorders (CARD) and Skills® for Autism.